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Around Red Deer March 23rd…..

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12:14 pm – Red Deer Mounties are investigating a large number of traffic hazards that were placed along some busy roads sometime overnight. Read More.

11:54 am – Red Deer RCMP are looking for a missing woman. Do you know where she might be? Read More.

11:49 am – A Boil Water Advisory has been issued for part of the Westpark neighbourhood. Read More.

9:45 am – Red Deer RCMP are Thanking the public for their help in finding a woman previously reported missing. Mounties say 27 year old Lainey Strongman has now been found.

For more local news, click here!

9:39 am – The RDC Kings Curling Team has opened the National Championship in Camrose with a win! Read More.

9:31 am – Rocky Mountain House RCMP now have a wanted man in custody. Mounties say they are no longer looking for Evan Foureyes. He has been arrested.

9:18 am – The town of Sylvan Lake has established a new partnership with the Red Deer and District SPCA. Lost and found pets will now be directed to Municipal Enforcement Animal Services, who typically hold pets for the initial 24 hours, before transferring them to a kennel provider for a further 48 hours. After the total 72 hour period has expired, the kennel provider (Red Deer & District SPCA) becomes responsible for continuing care and sheltering.

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International

Lawyer charged with lying to FBI in Russia probe faces trial

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal trial begins Monday for a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign who is accused of lying to the FBI as it investigated potential ties between Donald Trump and Russia in 2016.

The case against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity attorney who represented the Clinton campaign in 2016, is the first trial arising from the ongoing investigation by special counsel John Durham and will test the strength of evidence he and his team have gathered while scrutinizing the early days of the Trump-Russia probe for potential misconduct.

An acquittal is likely to hasten questions about the Durham probe’s purpose and cost to taxpayers while a guilty verdict will almost certainly energize Trump supporters who have long looked to Durham to expose what they see as biased mistreatment of the former president.

Sussmann is accused of misleading the FBI’s then-general counsel during a September 2016 meeting in which he presented research showing what he said might be a suspicious backchannel of communications between computer servers of the Trump Organization and Russia-based Alfa Bank.

Prosecutors allege Sussmann lied by saying that he wasn’t attending the meeting on behalf of any particular client when they say he was actually acting on behalf of two clients: the Clinton campaign and a technology executive who had helped assemble the computer data.

Durham’s team says that had the FBI been told the truth, it would have factored into the bureau’s assessment of the credibility of the Alfa Bank claims as it weighed whether to begin investigating. The FBI did look into the matter but ultimately found nothing suspicious.

Sussmann’s lawyers deny he lied but say the alleged misstatement isn’t relevant in any event since there’s no evidence that what the FBI knew or didn’t know about his political affiliations had any bearing on its decision-making.

Jurors will be selected in Washington’s federal court on Monday. In a nod to the politically loaded nature of the case, prospective jurors are being asked questions such as whether they voted in 2016 and whether they or anyone they are close with was involved in investigating potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Durham was appointed in 2019 by then-Attorney General William Barr to look for any misconduct as the U.S. government was examining potential coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign to tip the outcome of the election. An investigation by an earlier special counsel, Robert Mueller, did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign though it did find that Russia sought to aid Trump’s election bid.

Durham’s work has resulted in three criminal cases, but only the one against Sussmann has reached trial.

In 2020, a former FBI lawyer named Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty to altering an email related to secret FBI surveillance of an ex-Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page. In applying for warrants to eavesdrop on Page, the FBI relied on a dossier of anti-Trump research known colloquially as the “Steele dossier” that contained rumors and uncorroborated claims.

Last year, Durham charged a Russia analyst who was a source for that dossier with lying to the FBI about his own sources of information — among them, a longtime Hillary Clinton supporter. Igor Danchenko has pleaded not guilty. The case is pending and set for trial in October.

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Follow Eric Tucker on http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP.

Eric Tucker, The Associated Press

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Justice

Justice advocate David Milgaard, imprisoned on wrongful conviction, dead at 69

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By Brenna Owen

David Milgaard, the victim of one of Canada’s most notorious miscarriages of justice, has died in an Alberta hospital after a short illness. He was 69.

James Lockyer, a Toronto-based lawyer who worked closely on the case and helped found the advocacy organization Innocence Canada, confirmed the death after speaking with Milgaard’s sister on Sunday.

His loss is “devastating for the family,” Lockyer told The Canadian Press.

Milgaard was only 16 when he was charged and wrongfully convicted in the rape and murder of Saskatoon nursing aide Gail Miller, who was stabbed and left to die in the snow in the early morning of Jan. 31, 1969.

He would spend 23 years in prison until his release in 1992.

In his later years, Milgaard helped raise awareness about wrongful convictions and demanded action on the way Canadian courts review convictions.

“I think it’s important for everybody, not just lawyers, but for the public itself to be aware that wrongful convictions are taking place and that these people are sitting right now, behind bars and they’re trying to get out,” he said in 2015.

“The policies that are keeping them there need to be changed. The wrongful conviction review process is failing all of us miserably.”

Lockyer said he and Milgaard met with Justice Minister David Lametti just over two years ago in Ottawa to push for the creation of an independent body to review claims of wrongful convictions.

“I think David’s legacy now is to follow through with that, call it the Milgaard legislation and let’s get it passed, let’s get that independent tribunal. We still don’t have it, but maybe this will put the spur into the Department of Justice to get on with it,” he said in an interview on Sunday.

The establishment of an independent criminal case review commission “to make it easier and faster for potentially wrongfully convicted people to have their applications reviewed” is listed as the top priority in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter for Lametti in December 2019. The objective is repeated in his mandate letter following the federal election last fall.

Lockyer said it’s up to Lametti to “get moving” on creating the commission.

“They owe it to David Milgaard and they owe it to the wrongly convicted across Canada.”

During their meeting in 2020, Lockyer said the minister asked Milgaard to sign a copy of the Tragically Hip album featuring the song “Wheat Kings,” which was inspired by his case.

Lametti posted a statement on Twitter Sunday, saying Milgaard was a tireless advocate for the wrongfully convicted who wanted to see the system change.

“I am deeply saddened to know that he will not live to see this happen,” Lametti wrote.

The minister added that he would keep his signed copy of the Tragically Hip’s album “Fully Completely” as a memory of Milgaard.

Milgaard and two friends had been passing through Saskatoon on a road trip when Miller was killed.

A year later, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

One of the youngest inmates, the 17-year-old was raped and attempted suicide. He was also shot by police during an attempted prison break.

“It was a nightmare,” Milgaard said in 2014. “People do not have much love and care inside those walls.”

Milgaard was released in 1992 after his mother, who fought relentlessly to clear her son’s name, pushed to get the case heard by the Supreme Court of Canada. The high court threw out Milgaard’s conviction and he was finally exonerated in 1997 after DNA tests proved that semen found at the crime scene didn’t match his.

A man named Larry Fisher was convicted in 1999 of first-degree murder in Miller’s death and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in 2015.

Lockyer said Milgaard’s late mother, Joyce, was “a hero in her own right.”

“The Milgaards have given us a lot, they’ve given Canada as much as any family could have given Canada,” he said.

Peter Edwards, a Toronto Star journalist who helped Joyce Milgaard write a memoir about her fight to see her son exonerated, recalled a moment that he said sticks out in his mind — when Milgaard visited the paper’s newsroom not long after he was released from prison in order to thank Edwards.

It was a rainy day, he said, and Milgaard wasn’t wearing a shirt because he wanted to feel the rain against his skin after missing it for so many years.

The Saskatchewan government issued Milgaard a formal apology and awarded him a $10-million compensation package.

The province also spent $11.2 million on a public inquiry into Milgaard’s wrongful conviction. The final report was released in 2008 with 13 recommendations to reform prosecution and policing in Canada. Among them was a suggestion that the federal government establish an independent review commission to examine claims of wrongful conviction.

Ron Dalton, co-president of Innocence Canada, said Milgaard could have “turned inward and been very soured on life, but he didn’t let that happen.”

He could have walked away from his advocacy after clearing his name, but he “chose to look over his shoulder at the people left behind, the people who were going through suffering,” said Dalton, who was wrongfully convicted and later exonerated in his wife’s death more than 30 years ago.

Milgaard leaves behind two teenaged children, he said in an interview.

Lockyer said he had visited Milgaard at his home in Calgary about six weeks ago and “he was his usual happy self,” talking about the need for an independent commission and current claims of wrongful conviction in Canada.

When he heard about Milgaard’s death on Sunday, Lockyer said he was just leaving a prison in British Columbia, where he had been visiting with a woman whose wrongful conviction claim Milgaard had referred to him.

“I’m going to carry on doing what David wanted me to do, so there’s a legacy too.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2022.

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